6/20/13

Single-Focused: 9 Lessons for Singles - Part 2


In Part 1 of "Single-Focused," we learned five lessons from different authors who wrote to single Christians. In summary, we learned:

  • The key to experiencing contentment, a full life and abundant joy as a single is to discover and embrace the plan and calling of God for my life.
  • God wants me to model femininity, no matter my status or occupation, but also to learn skills for ministry.
  • I need to get radical about not "awakening" love until the appropriate time.
  • God expects me to maintain personal purity, whether I am single, married, or widowed.
  • I must accept and appreciate my desires as a means to my holiness and greater intimacy with God who loves me.
Let's continue with the next four lessons.

Lesson 6: I must embrace the potential power and influence of my femininity, not only in my ministry, but especially in my relationships with men.

For years, perhaps because of the influence of secular works I read in my youth, I looked down on femininity and saw it as weakness. The more I read about the strong women in scripture, however, the more I understood God's plan. I can be a feminine-yet-fierce Warrior Woman for the Kingdom of God. A truly feminine woman appreciates how God has designed her, and nurtures others with strength and passion.

In Leslie Ludy's book, Answering the Guy Questions, she touched on this. "As women, we have a far greater power over the course of masculinity than most of us realize," Ludy said. "We can use our femininity to influence men toward strength or toward weakness. Unfortunately, most of us don't use our feminine power correctly." (6)

Ludy (also the author of Set-Apart Femininity), pointed out some "twisted imitations of God's original design for womanhood," including arrogant femininity, nagging femininity, seductive femininity and controlling femininity.

Lesson 7: I must never settle for less than God's best regarding a potential mate. 

I almost did. Twice. But God guarded my heart until I learned to guard it better myself. He used people and circumstances, and especially the scriptures, to keep me from making serious mistakes.

Renee Fisher wrote about this principle in Not Another Dating Book. In the devotional titled "More," she wrote, "Scripture reminds us not to settle for less." She told the story of the young king Amaziah (2 Chronicles 25:1-9) who was warned by a man of God not to rely on his impressive army for victory. The man of God told the king (verse 9), "The Lord is able to give you much more than this!"

Fisher expounds, "More. God had something better in mind for Amaziah, and He has the very best in mind for you." (7)

Waiting on God is never futile. Waiting for His best is never foolish. (On the other hand, while we are waiting and learning how to recognize God's best, we also need to remember that we are all frail-and-failing flesh. A perfect Prince Charming simply does not exist. The only perfect man was Jesus.) Trust God instead of leaning on your "own understanding" ... don't be "wise in your own eyes" (Proverbs 3:5-7).

Fisher's new Kindle ebook, Loves Me Not, continues her exploration into the ups and downs of singleness and relationships, and how to pursue God as the love of your life.

Lesson 8:  I must never put my life "on hold" waiting for a man to fulfill my life. My deepest needs - especially for love - are only satisfied as I focus on Jesus Christ.

Lydia Brownback explored this truth in her book, Fine China Is for Single Women Too. "... life doesn't begin when you get married," she wrote. "This is your life! You will never find contentment in living for what you hope tomorrow may hold .... Life is not a spectator sport... So start living!"

Brownback quotes Joshua Harris: "Don't do something about your singleness; do something with it." Fine china is not just for married women, she says, and neither is a purpose-filled life. Every single woman can seek God for the unique contributions He has ordained her to make for the Kingdom and to serve others.

"If you actively pursue a Christ-centered focus in all you are and do, you will find your mind and heart being transformed to desire Him above anything else..." Brownback said. "Ask God to make Christ the deepest longing, the one thing above all else that you yearn for.... This is a prayer He will surely answer. As your heart for Christ grows stronger, your contentment will deepen, because you will be receiving the desire of your heart." (8)

She quotes the scripture I embraced in my 20s, Psalm 37:4: "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." His desires became mine, and it was my joy to follow Him.


Lesson 9: Get Lost in the One Who Loves You Most!

Dannah Gresh has a brand new book, Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love. She tells girls to be so "lost in God" that a guy will have to seek Him to find her.

Gresh wrote, "My own unholy desires began to fade, and I was tamed by God's desires for me. I was able to approach this whole guy/girl thing with incredible certainty and joy that the God of the universe had a good plan for me, and I needed to stop messing it up with mine." (9)

Each of these authors have far more to share than I posted here, and I recommend their books. But as I read their wise insights, I realize how God protected my young heart and prepared me for the life I now share with my husband. In those early years, I learned to trust Jesus, rely on Him for everything, embrace my womanhood and femininity, keep my mind and body pure and discern ways to influence others for good.

If you are single today, you are not alone, though you may sometimes feel lonely and confused. God wants to draw you close to His heart and enlist you in the great adventure He has planned for you. All that He asks is that you are single-focused on Him.

Did you learn something new in these eight lessons? What is God teaching you, as a single Christian?
(Footnotes continued from part 1)
(6) Leslie Ludy, Answering the Guy Questions, pp. 52, 53ff.
(7) Renee Fisher, Not Another Dating Book, p. 144
(8) Lydia Brownback, Fine China is for Single Women Too, intro and pp. 75-84, 105-106

(9) Dannah Gresh, Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love, Ch. 1.

Disclaimer: I do not necessarily agree with everything that these eight authors have written, but I do agree with these statements, as presented in the eight lessons. - Dawn Wilson


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